The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the 2018 guidelines on the maximum contribution levels for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), the minimum deductible amounts and the out-of-pocket maximum amounts.

The 2018 requirements are below:

 

HSA Contribution Limits

  •  Individual Contribution Limit: $3,450
  • Family Contribution Limit: $6,900

 

HSA Deductible Amounts

  • Individual Minimum Deductible: $1,350
  • Family Minimum Deductible: $2,700

 

HSA Out-of-Pocket (OOP) Amounts

  • Individual OOP Maximum: $6,650
  • Family OOP Maximum: $13,300

President Trump has signed an executive order calling upon the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to consider, among other things, expanding access to Association Health Plans, which could potentially allow employers to form groups across state lines. Until further guidance is issued or legislation is signed, however, all current ACA requirements remain in effect, including penalties for noncompliance.

Key Highlights

The following are key highlights of the order:

  • Association Health Plans (AHPs): The executive order directs the DOL to consider adopting a broader interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which could potentially allow employers in the same line of business anywhere in the country to join together to offer health insurance coverage to their employees.
  • Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance (STLDI): The executive order directs federal agencies to consider ways of expanding coverage through low-cost STLDI, which is not subject to certain ACA rules.
  • Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs): The executive order directs federal agencies to consider changes to the rules regulating HRAs so that employers can make better use of these arrangements for their employees.

For more information on this executive order, click here.

Note: In general, executive orders must be implemented in a manner consistent with applicable law, including the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires extended review of and public comment on any federal rules which may be proposed as a result of an executive order. Going forward, we will promptly report changes made to any ACA requirements.

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the annual contribution limits and High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) definitions for 2018. The Individual Contribution Limit has been increased to $3,450 and the Family Contribution Limit has been increased to $6,900 for 2018.  The maximum Out-of-Pocket Limits and Minimum Deductible Limits have been increased as well. The age 55 and older catch-up remains at $1,000.

Annual HSA Contribution Amounts

2017

2018

Coverage Levels

$3,400

$3,450

Individual

$6,750

$6,900

Family

$1,000

$1,000

55 and over Catch-up

Read more: IRS Announces 2018 HSA Contribution and Coverage Limits

Californians with Medicare coverage would no longer be surprised by huge medical bills stemming from “observation care” in hospitals under legislation that state lawmakers approved overwhelmingly last week and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown to sign into law.

The sticker-shock can happen when people go to the hospital but health care providers are not sure what’s wrong. If the patient is not sick enough to be formally admitted, but still not healthy enough to go home, they can stay in the hospital for “observation care,” which Medicare considers an outpatient service. That can mean higher out-of-pocket expenses for the patient.

Hospitals can bill observation patients for a larger share of the cost of any treatment and tests than admitted patients. Any routine medications they usually take at home may not be covered at all in the hospital. In some parts of the country, Medicare observation patients have been charged exorbitant prices for prescription drugs, including $18 for one baby aspirin.

And because observation patients have not spent the required minimum of three straight days as an admitted patient, Medicare will not cover their follow-up nursing home expenses after discharge. Observation care doesn’t count.

But patients may not even know they have been placed on observation care status when they’re lying in a hospital bed.

Read more: Protecting California’s Seniors From Surprise Hospital, Nursing Home Bills

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